Carvalhal's Owls dream is over

Wednesday part ways with head coach

Sheffield Wednesday have announced on Christmas Eve that manager Carlos Carvalhal has left the club by mutual consent.

Defeat against Middlesbrough on Saturday was the Owls 3rd in a row, the first time that this had happened in Carvalhal’s 2-and-a-half-year reign, and the 7th game in succession without a win in the Championship. Wednesday were tipped as genuine promotion contenders again this season but at the halfway stage of the campaign they sit in 15th place, 11 points adrift of the top 6.

Little was known about Carlos Carvalhal when he was appointed as manager by new chairman Dejphon Chansiri in 2015. The Portuguese boss numerous managerial positions at some big clubs across Europe but rarely stayed for more than one year at any club.

After a slow start in adjusting to English football the Owls settled on an attacking style that suited them well and took them to their highest finish since relegation from the Premier League in 2000. Having finished 6th Carvalhal’s side beat Brighton over 2 enthralling play-off semi-final legs and Wednesday were backed by over 40,000 fans at Wembley in the final against Hull. Ultimately they fell short, losing 1-0 after a tepid display but belief had returned to Hillsborough.

The 2016-17 season saw a more cautious approach as the Owls were now seen as one of the best teams in the division having had something of a surprise element about them the previous season. A strong end to the campaign saw them pick up 4 more points than the last season and finish in 4th place but the defensive approach adopted in the play-off semi-final against Huddersfield didn’t work out and they were beaten on penalties at Hillsborough after a 1-1 draw over the 2 legs.

The current campaign has been something on a non-starter so far. A dismal display on opening day saw them beaten at Preston and rare highs like comfortable wins against Leeds and Aston Villa have been outweighed by disappointing displays against the lesser teams. Wednesday were the first team to lose a league game to Bolton this season, they broke Birmingham’s 7-game winless streak and have an abysmal record against teams in the bottom half of the division.

The style of football and poor results have left many supporters feeling that a change at the top has been overdue this season but hopefully in time the fans will be able to remember the significant contribution that Carlos Carvalhal has made in putting Sheffield Wednesday back on the football map in a positive light.